September 2016 – Los Angeles, CA
- Opening Keynote Plenary Address: Sparking Communication in Sexuality, Activism and Acceptance
- Closing Keynote Plenary Address: “We Who Believe In Freedom….” a Town Hall Quest for Common Ground
- 25 Tips for Sexy Aging
- Addressing Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder—It’s Not as Simple as Popping a Pill or Using a Sex Toy/Device
- The Art of Accepting No with Monique Darling and Reid Mihalko
- Becky with the Good Hair and Other Reasons to Try Polyamory
- Become a Sexuality Access Professional TM (SAP): Keeping It Real for Unique Body Types and Disabilities
- Beyond Surviving: Enjoying a Vibrant and Joyous Sex Life After Rape
- Care and Control In Power Exchange Relationships
- Claiming Female Sexuality Through Performance
- COMING OUT LIKE A PORN STAR: on pornography, protection, and privacy
- Ethical Porn For Dicks: Encouraging Users to Embrace Mindfulness in their Porn Consumption
- Fascinating and Frustrating: When Your Sex Work Becomes Your Sex Life
- Finding Your Unique Voice and Brand to Wow Your Perfect Clients (and Create Bigger Value)
- Harassment is not a California Value: Why Prop 60 Must be Stopped
- The Intersection of Race and Polyamory
- Love The Whore You’re With
- Mainstream Bitch, the bark is as bad as the bite: the erotic organization of ethnic defamation
- Micro-aggressions of Desire
- Overwhelmed and Overworked? Self Care IS a Priority
- Partners in Pleasure: Building bridges between sex positive retailers & educators
- “Professional” isn’t a dirty word
- Queer Sex and Dating like a feminist Buddha: Sustainable compassionate dating and relationships in 21st Century
- Queer & Trans Sexual Health
- Sex After (or During) Cancer Treatment? Hell, Yes!
- Sex & Accessibility
- Sex and Service
- Sex Positive and Poor
- Sex-Positive Marketing in a Sex-Negative World
- Sex Positive Parenting in a Sex Negative World
- Sexuality Within My Blackness, The Exception to the Rule
- Slut-Shaming Begins at Home: Internalized Erotophobia
- The Symbiotic Relationship of the Sex Worker and Sex Positive Culture
- Take Da Pussy!: and Other Reasons to Stop Violence Against Women! – You got to take charge, take the question mark out, and take the pussy!
- Teaching Intersectionality
- Toward a Collapse of Gender
- Treating low libido in women: What sexual health professionals should know about the latest research, with emphasis on hormonal therapies.
- The Truth About Porn
- Unpacking Sexual Baggage and Rethinking Sexuality
- Using Your Words: Communication in Today’s Relationships
- What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You: Exploring the Implications of Black Boys’ Sexual Ignorance
- You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You; Battling Impostor Syndrome for Sexuality Professionals.
Click here to register!
25 Tips for Sexy Aging
No need to fear aging! Whether you’re 25 or 75, there’s plenty you can learn now to make sure that you age with a juicy attitude, sizzling orgasms, and strategies for staying sexually vibrant despite what the aging process throws your way. You’ll learn practical tips and attitude adjustments to enrich your sex life lifelong – partnered or solo. Some are quick and easy, many will surprise you, and a few will take some practice and commitment. All will benefit you lifelong. You don’t have to be a senior to learn from and enjoy this presentation!
These are just a few of the 25 topics we’ll cover:
- When Sex Changes: How to think about it, plan for it, talk about it.
- Exploring Adaptations: When the old ways don’t work the way they used to.
- Track the Tingle: How to figure out your most sexually responsive time of day.
- When NOT to Have Sex: The two times of day that are orgasm killers in an aging body.
- Safer Sex with a Soft Penis: How to put a condom on a soft penis with your mouth. (Even young sex bloggers told me they never knew this!)
- Talking to Your Doc: Learn the “my sexuality is important to me” mantra and how to get help from your medical professionals, even if they look the age of your grandkids.
- Thinking Way Ahead: Should you write your “Advanced Directive for Sexual Expression”?
Addressing Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder—It’s Not as Simple as Popping a Pill or Using a Sex Toy/Device
Walker Thornton, M.Ed
The last several years have brought about a surge in technology-based sex toys and devices, and pharmaceutical[s] designed to “treat” low female sexual desire. But are these new innovations the answer to improving sexual desire or are they driven by money and the ‘medicalization’ of our sexuality?
There is no quick fix to creating sexual desire for individuals who experience a low sex drive. This session will look at discuss skills and techniques to supplement, or replace, devices and medications for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), with a focus on older women.
Walker Thornton, sex educator and author of Inviting Desire: A Guide For Women Who Want to Enhance Their Sex Life, will present an overview of these newest developments and discuss the ways we can encourage women to explore and develop their own sense of sexual desire—though touch and exploration, communication, and education.
Let the Masters of Cuddle Party (between us, we have led close to 1,000 Cuddle Parties!) give you practical tips to begin practicing accepting another’s “no” more gracefully. Offering the power of no and boundary (understand why your “no” says more about you than your “yes”) We will show you the many hacks and practices we have cultivated and shared in our numerous workshops and with 100’s of clients, to reframe any negative association or reaction around hearing “no” so that you can leave our session with real world tools on how to respond with an absolutely genuine, “thank you for taking care of yourself” as you honor with gratitude, the gift of that other’s no. You begin to trust one’s “yes” once you hear their “no” and from that trust the real fun begins, because then you can imagine and begin asking for anything, knowing they will only say “yes” to the things they are truly a hell yes to. This session will be filled with the unique dynamic that Reid and Monique teach with, Pragmatism, humor, vulnerable stories, and experiential so you leave having felt the difference in your body. This is a subject we could spend our entire life geeking out on, and there is no one we would rather share it with than our Catalyst Con Family.
Why do so many people’s journeys into polyamory begin after having affairs? Why are so many cheaters unaware that polyamory even exists? What is it about infidelity that makes it a more appealing choice over polyamory? What personal benefits do you lose out on when you take the “ethical” out of non-monogamy?
Join Dirty Lola and Kevin Patterson as they dissect and discuss how societal expectations have enforced the idea of infidelity as the norm while disregarding polyamory as a viable relationship structure.
Become a Sexuality Access Professional TM (SAP): Keeping It Real for Unique Body Types and Disabilities
Dr. Marylou Naccarato
More than just another motivational “finding a different way” to achieve pleasure presentation… become a Sexuality Access Professional TM (SAP) is a whole person wellness approach through the lens of living with disabilities, medical conditions, and unique body types.
Whether you’re a mental health professional or a surrogate partner therapist our SAP model, created by Dr. Marylou Naccarato and Ligia Andrade Zuniga, M.A. will introduce the tools to identify and realistically resolve the sexuality access barriers we face.
Our work as a Sexuality Access Professional TM is most successful when after the therapeutic process is complete, clients can move forward using our methods independently with confidence and a renewed empowerment for life. Fun interactive exercises, explicit film clips, adaptive toys and positions also covered.
They say that at least one in four women, and one in six men, either already has been, or will be, raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Yet talking about rape often seems taboo, even in sex positive communities, – who likes the “victim” label? In association with Sex Positive World, we’ll explore creating a safe space so that sexual assault can be talked about like other unpleasant, but certainly not “life-ruining” experiences. How intentional communities can help with shame or guilt. What are the kinds of things that a rape sur-thriver wants to hear from their therapist, families and loved ones?
We’ll discuss that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to rape and sexual assault. Those terms cover a very broad spectrum of experiences, from ongoing childhood sexual molestation, to longer term abusive relationships, to date rape and stranger rape, and each may need different approaches for healing. We’ll talk about making space to discuss rape or coercion of transpeople, of men by women, women by women, men by men, and to support those sur-thrivers. We’ll talk about the pain, guilt and frustration experienced by partners, and how we can support them through the experience.
We’ll share ideas, tools, and tips for reframing the experience to reclaim the genitals as beautiful and sexy and fun, including masturbation, self-compassion, therapy, BDSM, and reclaiming/rewriting the experience through rape reenactment.
Care and Control In Power Exchange Relationships
There are about as many types of power exchange relationships as there are thoughts and feelings about topic. A nearly endless spectrum of power play dynamics can be found within Kink. This is not foreign to you. You’ve played with power exchange before if you’ve ever had rough sex, held a partner down by the wrists, or allowed yourself to be blindfolded. The amount, type, and duration of power exchange are all variables that are negotiated between partners.
There are many resources that discuss the exchange of control, but not enough discuss that along with the transfer of control also comes a negotiated expectation of care. Both identities, dominant and submissive, can take a toll on the individuals involved and the relationship in which the dynamics are employed, and both have a responsibility to serve the other. Yes. The dominant serves the submissive, too. In fact, it’s often quipped in the kink community that if you don’t know that the submissive holds all the power, you don’t know much about BDSM.
This workshop examines the idea that participants in power exchange relationships agree that there will be an exchange of not only control, but of care. Examples of how control and care are given and received in balance in the best relationships are discussed in this class suited to Kinksters and Kink-Curious of all experience levels.
Women have sexuality and value ascribed to them on a daily basis by people in society. This panel brings together women of diverse sexual orientations, ages, and races to talk about how they use their performance to claim who they are as women and as sexual beings. The conversation will focus on both defining their own sexuality on the stage and defining themselves as sexual beings through their art. Join Diana Hong, Joie De Vivre, Mone’t Ha-Sidi and Rebecca Blanton to discuss how women claim their sexuality through their performance.
Does your mother know? What does your family think? Has your being in porn effected dating? These top the most commonly asked questions of those in the adult industry. COMING OUT LIKE A PORN STAR: Essays on Pornography, Protection, and Privacy presents over 50 first-hand accounts, ranging from funny to fucked up, as well as practical tips and personal anecdotes. While some denounce pornography as an immoral ruin-er of women and relationships, and others praise it as sex-positive liberation, the ways performers “come out” about doing porn — or the great lengths we take to avoid it — is an honest, nuanced depiction of how society views those at the public frontline of sexuality.
Hailed as one of the “Best Sex Books of 2015” by Reason Magazine, this pivotal project spearheaded by editor Jiz Lee is the largest collection of essays written by porn professionals about their industry revealing that sexual stigma is the largest obstacle faced resulting in discrimination in housing, financial, child custody, and other social and familial ostracizing. In this special presentation at CatalystCon West 2016, contributing authors will share their essays from the book and experiences within their involvement in the sex industry.
For more information about the book and its additional authors (whose diverse representations span industry genre in addition to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, citizenship, and ability), visit ComingOutLikeaPornStar.com and follow along on social media with #comingoutlikeapornstar.
Ethical Porn For Dicks: Encouraging Users to Embrace Mindfulness in their Porn Consumption
David Ley, PhD
Although porn use is usually harmless, consumers of adult entertainment face an onslaught of shaming and fear-based attacks in the media and general society. Ethical Porn for Dicks offers an accessible conversation with porn users to assist them in being aware of risks, navigating relationships and negotiations around porn use, while also helping users to understand how to manage feelings of guilt or shame through choosing ethical, responsibly produced and distributed material. EP4D educates porn users about how to understand their responses to porn, how to manage their porn use when it needs attention, and ways to use porn to enhance their lives.
As sex positive professionals, sometimes what we do for work becomes most of the sex we have. Whether you are the academic whose writing and teaching have taken the passion out of the physical act, or the porn actor whose love making feels scripted, all of us experience this phenomenon in one form or another. Conversely, what happens when our personal sex life impacts our sex work negatively?
Lots of assumptions are made inside and outside of the sex industry that we as professionals are regularly having lots of great and easy sex. For many of us that is simply not true! Sometimes our client boundaries get fuzzy, and we forget that we need intimacy too. The sad thing is that as much as we talk about sex, we rarely talk about how our work impacts our sex lives! Is it a problem? How do we find balance between our professional scenes, and our private bedrooms and play-spaces? Who do we confide in when our partners just don’t understand? How has your sex life changed since you have become a sex professional?
Join Andre Shakti, M’kali-Hashiki, Pele, and TTBaum as they facilitate a safe space for participants to bring this unspoken subject out into the light for open dialogue and discussion among fellow current and former sex workers.
*In keeping with the intention of CatalystCon to be a safe space for all; this panel is not intended as a platform to debate the validity of sex work, the mental health of current or former sex workers, nor their skills and roles as educators and healers.
**Original title by Eve Minax – 2013 Catalyst Con West.
How can you reach the clients you love working with AND establish the value of your time and products at the same time? Its actually easier and more natural than you think…
Just like the sex and relationship skills you so patiently teach, the secret is in being authentic and sharing the very quirks that you think will cause people to run for the hills. The reason so many businesses sound alike, and why the courses they offer start sounding trite, is because most business people think that being professional is all about hiding quirks and “flaws,” or they don’t share in an empowering way.
We’ll discuss how sharing the “imperfections” can help people see if you’re exactly the right person for them, (and we’ll share examples including how Cathy sharing her 320lb weight with her list – the thing she thought she needed to hide- helped inspire and encourage thousands) and how that can help them see you as a unique and valuable resource rather than a commodity to be taken for granted.
We’ll discuss the boundaries between privacy and self-expression, the difference between sharing vulnerably and being a victim, and how to share your quirks and “flaws” while still being professional.
California voters are being tricked into voting for a law in November that would make our state the first in the country to allow anyone to sue a worker for how they do their job. California Proposition 60 pretends to protect workers in the adult film industry, but in fact it’s putting them at risk for lawsuits and harassment.
California laws should protect workers from harassment, not sanction and incentive it. Join representatives from the #NoProp60 campaign, most of whom are workers in the adult film industry and learn why Proposition 60 would set a dangerous precedent for workers everywhere.
Learn about the ONLY initiative on the ballot this November with TRI-Partisan support. Prop 60 is so poorly drafted that Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and a growing list of civil rights and HIV organizations including Equality California and AIDS Project Los Angeles
can all agree that it’s bad for workers and bad for California. Come learn why.
The Intersection of Race and Polyamory
While polyamory and polyamorists are often viewed as a very welcome bunch, far too often, our communities and representation appear very limited. While we can be loud and proud when it comes to feminism and LGBT issues, sometimes we are suspiciously silent in regards to race. Beyond that, we sometimes, and often unknowingly, foster a standoffish, stressful or downright unwelcoming atmosphere around people of color. This presentation is a discussion about why diversity is important to our movement. We will tackle ways that we can proactively promote an inclusive environment in our lives, in our communities, and at our events. Most importantly, we will go over what we can do to maintain that diversity.
Love The Whore You’re With
Each sex worker has their own understanding of both the “Sex” and the “Work” aspects of their job. We use many tools for our trade, and since these tools often include sharing parts of our bodies, our brains, and our hearts with clients, we also face many challenges in our “off-the-clock” relationships. Join longtime sex worker Andre Shakti to discuss how we can work to strengthen our sexual and loving relationships, how those who love us and fuck us can work to be excellent partners, and how allies can bolster their cultural consciousnesses where it counts. We’ll be discussing what tools we can borrow from models of non-monogamy and BDSM/kink negotiations – addressing jealousy, asserting and accepting desires and boundaries – while also emphasizing the ways that work relations differ from other kinds of emotional and physical intimacy. In addition, we’ll touch on community organizing, strategize around avoiding and addressing “burn out”, and delve into the harmful reality of combatting microaggressions within society at large. This workshop is for roommates who don’t judge, for friends who remind us of the difference between our real selves and our personas, for partners who do the work of understanding the difference between what we share with clients and what we share with you, and for anyone who is curious about how sex workers would like to be humanized and respected.
On a fastidiously fabricated stage the media consistently reinforces the stereotypical notion that the portrayal of Black women or women of color (WOC) is sexually aggressive, degrading, wild, uncontrollable and subordinate. In order to decolonize the perversion of WOC, we must develop a narrative that identifies and addresses the representation of the “pit-bull bitch” also known as the “black woman”.
Trending: WOC expressing power and strength through historically degrading terms.
Ignoring: Black women have been imprisoned in both sex and race and now sub-humanity (referred to as animals rather than beings). In either space no one has the respect and understanding they deserve, so what happens next?
Focusing: The presentation will examine pop culture, sexual iconography, and social norm scripts that discriminately imprison black sexuality and power.
We will examine, discuss, and develop a critical consciousness about the triangulation of bitch culture, the media, and its impact on the progressive iconography of women of color.
Micro-aggressions of Desire
Yoseñio V Lewis
Words matter. “And you’re just so articulate” to a black or brown body (“how could you possibly be so eloquent when you’re not white?”). Actions matter. That “I smell something funny” look when a woman walks by (“She must be on her period. Why doesn’t she stay home?”). Seemingly “innocent” actions have major consequences, especially when they are inflicted repeatedly.
To this awareness we bring the notion of the Microaggressions of Desire and how they can teach us to be ashamed of that which turns us on. We’ll acknowledge the smirks, the looks, the avoidance, the turn aways, the one word responses and how they all can lead us to deny, diminish and delete our desires. When we have clarity on what we’re dealing with, we can then empower ourselves to move past the microaggressions to experience the exhilarating heights of sexual health. Join us as we discover how to navigate the microggressions, overcome them and claim a sexuality that is rightfully ours!
“What would it take for you to stop judging and being so critical of yourself?” This session is primarily for people( especially facilitators and sex workers) who feel like they don’t have enough time to nurture and nourish themselves, yet who think they have all the time in the world to hold space, and take care of others. Join Peter and Monique as we offer simple, practical, and applicable routines to return self care as YOUR top priority, which can help you align your work and the rest of your life with the results that matter most.
- Tips to quiet the mind and be more aware of your behaviors
- Learn easy strategies, that you can do at home or on the road, that help you consistently operate at “Your best”
- Simple nutrition and movement techniques to keep your body at it’s best
- Learn how to consistently nurture and hold space for yourself, rewiring the old paradigm that the greatest service is to others, and realize that you can’t truly be there for anyone else until you have learned to be there for you.
- Learn why less IS more
- Start where you are, take baby steps, acknowledge and celebrate, and reward your accomplishments.
Want to boost your resources, access a larger audience or diversify your content or reach? This panel discussion will explore ways that sex-positive retailers and educators, writers, and clinicians can work together to improve the sexual health and wellness of the whole community. There is a divide between many sex educators and clinicians and the retail adult industry, for reasons ranging from outright distrust to lack of knowledge. This workshop will break down the assumptions about sex-positive adult retail, discuss how to find retailers that can support clients in positive, healthy ways, and also how to best access and serve the needs of adult retailers’ customer base. This discussion will spark ideas for creating partnerships that benefit everyone.
Just because we work in the field of sexuality, doesn’t mean the bar for professionalism is any lower. If you’d like a company to provide you with samples for classes or clients, or if you’d like to review their products, you need to make the right approach. This is equally true if you’re contacting a store or organization about teaching for them. Unfortunately, basic business etiquette is often lacking. Not only does this hurt your chances of advancing your career, it can cast a negative impression of all bloggers, reviewers, and educators; hurting everyone in the field.
In this session we’ll go over how to approach businesses and organizations, what to do once you’ve got the gig, and how you can provide the most value to the organizations you’re working for so they’ll ask you back, and sing your praises to other groups.
Raising the bar for professionalism helps us all. It isn’t selling out, it’s just good business.
Queer Sex and Dating like a feminist Buddha: Sustainable compassionate dating and relationships in 21st Century
Chris Donaghue, PhD, LCSW, CST
We need a revolution and evolution of values- from the material and
economic to the relational. Profits, consumption, and material are put
before Others and relationships.
We use a heteronormative, White, capitalist, cisgendered based relational
model, and this is why dating, relationships and marriages are failing.
This presentation will explore:
- 1. letting go of failing cultural norms around dating and moving towards a sustainable queer, feminist, anti-capitalist mode of dating
- 2. relational authentic model versus our current “game” and manipulation model
- 3. dating to be known not to be liked
- 4. using a codependent “us” not an I or me perspective
- 5. ethical sex and dating – consent AND compassion
- 6. using online apps
You want to touch me where? Body and sex positivity can be tricky landscapes to navigate and especially intense for queer and trans identified folks.
So much emphasis can be put on gender identity and presentation, but what happens when the lights go down or doctor appointments come up? Join sex educators Andy Duran and Jack Rednour-Bruckman as they present a fun and informative workshop for queer and trans identified folk and the people who love and care for them. This workshop and discussion will focus on sexual health for queer & trans communities, and promote a more embodied, empowered, and authentic sexual experience for anyone struggling.
Health care and sexual wellness are critical, yet so many queer and trans people don’t feel safe enough to access them. Dealing with pap smears, breast exams, prostate health, or a new lover can create fear and isolation. This workshop will help create a welcoming body positive space that is beyond the cis binary. Join us!
While (too many!) people are still dying of cancer, more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer and LIVING. According to cancer.gov, almost 40% of American men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes, and the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached almost 14.5 million in 2014.
This session looks to embrace enjoying a healthy, vibrant, and satisfying sex life, despite the bodily changes and challenges of a cancer diagnosis. We’ll debunk the myth that sex has to mean PIV (Penis-in-Vagina) or PIA (Penis-in-Anus), and explore the MANY ways to have very satisfying sex that don’t require an erection or penetration. We’ll touch on the role and benefits of masturbation for self-compassion, body-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. We’ll discuss toys, cushions, slings, lube, and sexual work-arounds. We’ll talk about the important role of loving partner(s) and friends, both during the initial crisis, and afterward, in helping to reclaim body image and sexual satisfaction. We’ll explore the role of humor, music, sexy photography, and other tips and tricks for being joyful before, during, or after treatment. We’ll also talk about the role of BDSM for sexual satisfaction.
“Surviving” cancer isn’t good enough. We want to thrive and enjoy our bodies, including sexually!
Sex & Accessibility
Jamila M. Dawson, M.A.
Sex therapy and sex education/coaching are a misunderstood and under-utilized social resource in general and specifically for historically marginalized communities (e.g. people of color, people who are trans, non-binary folk, people with disabilities and others). Are these services sought by and accessible to these communities? What can we, as sex educators/coaches and mental health clinicians do to engage with these communities? I invite you to join me in a collaborative discussion to share our stories, ideas and generate solutions that take us further into a future of expanded sexual pleasure and health.
When you’re deployed in Afghanistan, how do you have sex? Do people hook up on Naval ships? I heard the Air Force has a lot of swingers, is that true?
Military and veteran culture can often seem like a black box, inaccessible to anyone who hasn’t served. While veterans and service members are sexual beings, just like the general population, their veteran or military status can often make it hard for them to find a supportive space. With millions of service members and veterans located all over the country, the likelihood we’ll end up with someone from that world in our classes and events is high. How then can we, as sexuality professionals, better meet the needs of this underserved population and actively welcome them into sex-positive spaces?
Join Harmony and Liz as they talk about their own experiences with sex while serving and interactively explore how anyone can help military members and veterans have the sex lives they want and deserve!
Starting a business is never easy, but sometimes those of us starting out in sex-positive work can find ourselves struggling just to make ends meet. When you’re just starting, there can be pressure to do work without pay for exposure or experience from one side; yet those already in the field will often discourage people from doing any free work as it brings down rates for others. You can feel desperate for clients and end up saying yes to work that you don’t actually want to do. As you become more established, you want to charge rates commensurate with your expertise but by doing that you necessarily price yourself out of reach for many. When you’re staring at an empty bank account, how do you find the strength to keep chasing your passion?
Join Dr. Liz Powell, Dirty Lola, and Rebecca Hiles as they talk about the difficulties of being sex-positive and poor, and how to take care of yourself while juggling between holding boundaries, building business, and establishing a reputation.
Sex-Positive Marketing in a Sex-Negative World
You have a company, a product or a service you want to sell. How can you sell it without relying on tired tropes or sexist stereotypes? What are your blind spots and how can you be inclusive while enhancing your brand?
In this workshop, we’ll discuss played-out marketing messages (and how to avoid them), how to avoid accidentally insulting your intended audience (and innocent bystanders), ways of making your marketing more inclusive, and positive (and effective!) approaches that will change how you talk to your people so that they hear you and feel great about it.
Author Shar Rednour, The Sex & Pleasure Book, The Femme’s Guide to the Universe and Jack Rednour-Bruckman, Executive Vice President of Good Vibrations–the premier sex positive retailer, host a workshop on how to talk to your kids about sex and how to be parent in a sex positive and body positive way free of shame and stigma yet full of healthy boundaries and good communication. Real life partners and parents to three kids, their combined experience on this topic professionally and personally is full of good advice and practical how to’s for parents, educators, professionals, activists, and advocates alike. Sex education is sorely lacking especially for anyone under 18 years old yet popular culture, gaming, social media, and mainstream media is full of messages and images that inundate kids on a daily basis. How do you help them navigate and how do you empower them to make good choices and judgments especially around body positivity and consent? This workshop will help you answer these questions and give you ideas to take back to your professional and personal life whether you have kids or not.
Sexuality Within My Blackness, The Exception to the Rule
As a black woman, I love the skin I’m in, but when other’s view me, I appear to be anything from a threat to a ho! This discussion will explore why Women of Color have never been afforded the luxury of embracing our sexuality!
We are black like Mother Earth, Spiritual like generations before us, Sexy, Sassy, Bold, Beautiful, Smart, Talented, and we make life happen. But, we are also held to a higher standard, never appreciated, respected or given reverence to the beauty that is us.
As a Black Woman I give my love freely, sharing my mind, body and soul, navigating through the te universe. Unfortunately, others thought to snatched sex/love from me, time and time again, throwing in my face that I wanted it, when I was never asked, or even allowed to give thought to it!
In this workshop we will explore:
- “The Talk”, “A New Conversation” on accepting and loving our role in Sex and Sexuality to change how we are seen, and how/our children we see ourselves
- “Defining Our Beauty” what makes us vibrant, beautiful and sexy
- “From Prey to Victorious”. The world has seen us a Prey or victims, constantly dehumanized, devalued, demoralized, and victimized. Today we stand in our Sexy Blackness, unashamed, unapologic, loving, living and accepting.
We all know slut-shaming is an issue outside of sex-positive community and that even among supposedly supportive groups, people sometimes cop serious attitude about each others’ sexual and relationship choices. But the overarching society is frequently sex-negative and slut-shaming—and we’re all soaking in it! When we’re too young to analyze these attitudes it can begin to happen to us, and perhaps the most challenging variation of slut-shaming is that which we ourselves internalize. This makes it harder to respond to shaming attitudes from others—and makes it more likely we’ll limit our own erotic options out of shame and fear. This panel examines some of the ways we’ve witnessed, experienced, and dealt with slut-shaming, starting with the kind that hits when we look in the mirror.
During this workshop we will touch on some of the shared history of sex workers and other communities fighting for sexual freedom. We will explore common prejudices that we have about industry workers, and discuss how we can be allies to folks in the sex trade. This will be a lively discussion and participation-oriented class.
A recurring mantra heard in various ways by most men of male dominated/patriarchal societies, from east to west, and beyond. Too many of our sons have been raised with the idea of dominating women for their pleasure with little to no regard for women’s thoughts, feelings, or consent. How do we raise future generations of men, and women, to believe otherwise when everything in popular and mainstream culture supports the opposite? Join Mo Beasley and his band of UrbanErotika Gypsies as they grab those old school mantras by the throat and “choke them the fuck out!”, figuratively speaking, of course.
Through the use of performance art/poetry & music this panel of artists, activists, and educators will offer more than their “two cents”, and practical tools, to enlighten and re-educate the young, and not so young. Bring your insights and questions to this “consciousness raising circle” committed to conjuring new millennium ways of “Taking Da Pussy!” with full consent, and pleasure, for all parties and partners.
Bianca I Laureano, MA, CSE
Intersectionality has become a buzzword in the past 5 years, yet how do we incorporate it into our work and how do we begin this conversation with youth and adults in an accessible way? This workshop will share how teaching intersectionality to youth and adults has been done through the new Scenarios USA curriculum What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity. Participants will be introduced and watch one youth-written Hollywood directed short film included in the curriculum and explore several engaging activities individually and in groups. By the end of the workshop participants will be able to define intersectionality, discuss how intersectionality connects to topics and themes in the sexuality field, and identify at least two activities that may support youth and adults in exploring and understanding intersectionality as a theory and a practice.
Gender specifications on details of anatomy are medicalized and outmoded, based on Greek language and writings of Greek philosophers — the work of Plato and Galen are still being used as a foundation of US society and are supported by politicians and our educational system. Come learn about how a different view of our bodies might make a difference in what you teach and how collapsing gender normatively can be done.
Treating low libido in women: What sexual health professionals should know about the latest research, with emphasis on hormonal therapies.
Robert LeFavi, PhD
Up to 45% of women report having some sexual dysfunction, with decreased libido as the most common complaint. Suboptimal sexual desire, whether it is sufficient to create relational and emotional distress or rises to the point of clinical hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), is reported by more than half of all post-menopausal women and nearly one quarter of pre-menopausal women. However, great strides have been made in the understanding of low libido and its treatment over the past decade. Sexual health professionals should be aware of the research supporting successful treatments and the resources available to access such treatments. Clearly, most conditions of sexual dysfunction are multi-dimensional, and while this presentation will address those factors, its focus is on new ideas and hormonal therapies, stemming from relevant research, which will serve to empower all women. Specific recommendations, including resources, successful treatments and dosages, will be described based on the latest data available.
The Truth About Porn
‘Porn causes rape!’ ‘Porn causes Violence!’ ‘Porn is responsible for the sexualization of culture!’ ‘Porn is full of violent images!’ ‘Porn is a public health crisis!’ We see these headlines constantly in the mainstream media and in feminist debates on pornography, which are typically characterized into two opposing camps: radical feminists and liberal feminists who are engaged in a never ending ‘porn war’ over the realities of porn and its effects.
But what is the truth about porn? Is it really full of violent imagery, and does it really cause violence? This presentation will outline some of the key claims about the harms of pornography, and examine the evidence used to support these supposed ‘truths’, and the effects that these claims have on the lives of the women working in the pornography industry.
The quest for the truth about pornography is a passionate and polemic experience, especially in feminist circles. But porn’s meanings and truths have proved to be difficult to generalize, and we will examine the effect this has had on debates about the harms of pornography, as well as exploring how alternative pornography fits into the feminist analysis of pornography.
This presentation will address the statement that the science of porn is beyond dispute and will show that in fact, the science behind the ‘truth’ of porn is very much still as in dispute as it ever has been.
Unpacking Sexual Baggage and Rethinking Sexuality
Dr. TaMara Griffin
Women are taught that good girls don’t have sex, only sluts do. Women are taught that anything outside the “normal” societal beliefs regarding sexuality is wrong. Women are pressured into believing that we have to look a certain way in order to be beautiful. Women are taught that our bodies are dirty and nasty.Women are taught that sex is something that happens to us, not that we are an active participant in the process.
It is these negative intergenerational attitudes and beliefs that:
- Teaches us to deny our sexuality.
- Contributes to the unhealthy thoughts that women sometimes believe about our sexuality.
- Keep us from experiencing the beautiful spectrum of sexuality.
- Puts us at risk for unintended consequences of sexuality i.e. sexually transmitted infections, HIV, unintended pregnancies, abuse, low self-esteem, etc.
- Prevents us from forming healthy relationships.
- Keeps us from experiencing sexual pleasure.
- Contributes to distorted perceptions about our bodies.
It is time to drop everything we have learned about sexuality and begin to rethink how we are defining health sexuality.
Communication has changed dramatically in the modern era. Long departed are the days of hand written letters and waiting days or weeks for a response. Today, the instant nature of technology has affected how we communicate, our communicative styles, and the comfort we experience with interpersonal relationships.
In this presentation, dating coach Valerie Baber and sex therapist Hernando Chaves will discuss the obstacles, challenges, and best practices with communication today. From our icebreakers and texting to whether people really communicate from Mars or Venus, this talk will bring up areas of concern, confusion, and missed opportunities in our dating and relationship worlds. This workshop will discuss:
- communication theory and research
- individual challenges associated with fear and anxiety
- communication styles and what to do when they are different than partners
- techniques and skill building to enhance your communicative experiences
- how to bring up difficult sexual and relationship topics with partners
- strategies to help with dating and relationship enhancement
What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You: Exploring the Implications of Black Boys’ Sexual Ignorance.
Ebony Utley, PhD
Because hegemonic black masculinity encourages black men to boast about their sexual prowess and sexual activity, there is very little room for expressions of trauma, fear, insecurity and/or ignorance surrounding sex. Statistics report that black boys have sex earlier than males of other racial groups. This implies that childhood sexual activity is the norm for black males and yet the implications of this activity are infrequently investigated. This session explores how a lack of sexual knowledge impacts black boys’ sexual performance, sexual health, and ability to acknowledge childhood sexual trauma. Data stems from phone interviews with Black American men over 18 who discussed their early sexual experiences.
You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You; Battling Impostor Syndrome for Sexuality Professionals.
Have you ever had a moment of panic before a class or client session when you’re sure that you have nothing to offer? That everyone already knows everything you know? There’s a name for that: Impostor Syndrome. The insidious belief that we’re not good enough can prevent us from offering our talents to the world, and it’s more than a simple confidence problem. But there’s good news: “Researchers find that impostorism is most often found among extremely talented and capable individuals, not people who are true impostors.”
So, how do you battle Impostor Syndrome and get your unique message out there? Once you’ve identified the problem, there are some tools and tricks you can use to conquer it.
In this session we’ll discuss Impostor Syndrome and how it manifests, we’ll figure out how to identify when that’s what we’re experiencing, and we’ll talk about ways to get around it so we can be fiercely and authentically ourselves, and get our passion and message out into the world.
We’ll also go through a writing exercise to identify and express our values that has been used to fight Impostor Syndrome with such success that it helped eliminate gendered performance differences in a university physics class. Lastly, we’ll focus on ways to apply these principles and tools to our work on an ongoing basis.
*Positive affirmation in the session title from the Stuart Smalley SNL sketches of the 90’s